Pop Fall / Winter 2010 : Britney Spears by Todd Cole & Takashi Murakami
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Join Date: Aug 2008
A little insight about Britney's cover I thought you'd like to know...
Magazine shoot really manga child porn protest art?
new Pop magazine photoshoot with famed Japanese artist
already caused a small online stir due to it’s surprising and unique style, but now it’s set to make waves for a whole different reason, after popular gaming website
published an article today claiming that the shoot is actually a political protest around manga art that could possibly be labeled as child porn.
Britney’s two Pop covers depict the superstar dressed in a skimpy wedding gown in one and wearing a blue bathing suit in another, carrying a red backpack while striking an eerie, Lolita-esque pose. The same image is used on the cover of controversial manga
“My Wife Is A Grade Schooler”
, which was almost banned due to it’s depiction of underage characters engaging in sexual acts. Take a look at an excerpt from the Kotaku article, below:
Back when the Tokyo Municipal government was looking to ban the questionable depictions of underage characters in anime, manga and video games, My Wife Is A Grade Schooler, an out of print manga, was fingered as an example of a work that depicted young characters in an inappropriate manner.
When the manga was shown on television, yellow Post-its were used to cover the suggestive bits. However, the Post-its made the manga appear more suggestive than it actually is. The manga itself is considered a “gag manga”
and even social criticism. It apparently isn’t as bad as it looks, and some said the way it was handled on TV was political scapegoating. The cover of “My Wife Is A Grade Schooler” (pictured) echoes the imagery used in the Spears’ photographs. Same red backpack, same blue bathing, wedding dress.
The references to “My Wife Is A Grade Schooler” are no mere coincidence either: Takashi and the author of the manga,
, have been seen Tweeting each other about the relations between the shoot and the erotic Grade Schooler art. Matsuyama even referred to the Takashi shoot as,
“Takashi Murakami x Britney Spears x My Wife Is A Grade Schooler collaboration”
However, the most surprising part of the whole saga is that Britney herself may have been aware of what was going on. Not only do Pop Magazine directly refer to the shoot as “inspired by the manga artist Seiji Matsuyama”, but Britney herself even reveals in the accompanying interview that she was involved in the photoshoot and looked at certain manga chracters to get “a feel” for the vibe of the shoot.
“I loved working with Takashi…,” says Spears. “We looked at a lot of manga characters and artwork before we shot, so I could get a feel for what he was looking for. It was one of the most interesting shoots I’ve ever been on. He’s a genius!”
Certainly there would be none better than Britney Spears to make this type of artistic statement, considering that she began her career as an underage school girl channeling Nabokov’s
The question that Kotaku are posing, is did Britney know how deep the connotations behind these photos ran? Was she trying to creative controversy, like she has so often done throughout her 12 year-career, or was she unknowingly used as the face of a political statement that was much more serious than she could have originally known?
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